Stamford Magazine features FML partner Eliot Bassin

Mar 22, 2024

Stamford Magazine and other Moffly Media publications throughout Fairfield County including Westport Magazine and Greenwich Magazine focused its latest “Money Matters” column on FML partner Eliot Bassin’s work with high-net-worth individuals and family offices. Eliot joined the firm in 2023 when FML merged with longtime Stamford accounting firm Bregman & Company.

A family office, usually reserved for when the balance sheet tops $100 million, includes financial advisors, tax pros, trust and estate attorneys, and insurance advisers. Eliot calls this supporting cast the Core Four.

Here are some highlights of the Money Matters column featuring Eliot’s expertise:

“It’s an integrated approach to planning,” integration being the key to its success, says Bassin, a Certified Public Accountant and partner with FML CPAs in Stamford.

While many folks here in lower Fairfield County, regardless of their net worth, do enlist help from financial advisers, CPAs, attorneys and the like, many do so only when a service is needed, such as calling a CPA at tax time, or meeting an estate attorney when making out a will.
In the process, the family’s financial undertakings tend to “be less integrated,” Bassin says. “By waiting until they actually have to make a change, they might be missing out on opportunities along the way.”

Bassin willingly connects with his clients’ advisers along the way. “It’s one way that we get to understand clients and to know what they’re trying to accomplish. I have a client right now whose financial adviser I speak with once every three or four weeks.” Together they stay on top of impending issues; for example, discussing capital gains options like gifting and gift-tax exemptions well before the year’s end.

While you could navigate this effort by yourself, “sometimes it’s hard to piece things together,” Bassin says. Your team members, though, deal with issues like this each day; they can educate you so that you won’t make a rash decision. “They can get you to think about things you might not think about on your own,” Bassin says.

The column also recapped a specific example Eliot shared of he handled a situation with clients who wanted to sell their $1.5 million home to their children. Here’s an excerpt from that section:

The group analyzed the couple’s investments and retirement accounts, helped determine how much the pair needed in annual cash flow to live on comfortably, ascertained the amount of principal and interest they could gift to their kids without exceeding gift tax exemptions, spelled out what would happen if they were to die still owning the house, and more.

Read the full column on page 42 of the March/April issue of Stamford Magazine.